Activities For Mastidoodles

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Introduction

The perfect companion and addition to any family, Mastidoodles were bred to be watchdogs, but their docile, loving, affectionate nature makes these big dogs actual teddy bears. They will be protective of their families and they love to play. At 30 inches high and anywhere between 90 and 120 pounds, though, their version of a gentle nudge can be enough to knock any unsuspecting adult to the ground.

Mastidoodles are a combination of the Mastiff and the Standard Poodle. This mix means that your pup will need to be groomed frequently or their dense coat will knot and mat.

To help your Mastidoodle burn their energy and prevent them from getting into mischief, make sure you exercise them for at least an hour every day.

Obedience Classes

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Clicker
Treats
Activity description
Mastidoodles want to please you. They're the gentle giants of the doggy world and as a rule, they are not going to do anything to be "disobedient." However, with a dog this size, it's crucial that you teach them the basic commands early. If Fido escapes their leash to run after the neighborhood cat for a rousing game of chase, you aren't going to catch up, so you'd better hope you've taught "stop" well! Similarly, when visitors come over, especially those with little ones, Fido is going to be so excited that jumping on them will be second nature -- unless you have trained your pup "down" thoroughly.
Step
1
Find a training class
If you live in an area where obedience classes are uncommon, you may have to widen your search to bigger cities nearby so you have a good selection. Don't just go with the first one you see or the closest one. Do some research and make sure the instructor knows their stuff. You can also price check to ensure you are getting a quality investment.
Step
2
Prepare Fido
When you call to schedule Fido's classes, do so with a couple of weeks of preparation time before you start. You'll need this time to gather the basic required supplies. You may also need to go to the vet and get Fido's shots up-to-date as well as schedule a grooming session to get those nails trimmed and the fur combed out.
Step
3
Practice, practice, practice!
At the classes, take mental, typed, or handwritten notes of everything the instructor teaches so that you can continue the lessons at home. Consistency is key with dogs, although Mastidoodles are smart and learn fast. If the instructor uses the clicker method and it works for Fido there, follow it at home. If it's the treat method, use that -- Fido can stand the extra calories as long as you are thoroughly providing exercise activities every day. But practice makes perfect, so follow through with the classes even after Fido graduates!
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Dog Park

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Water
Bowl
Waste Bags
Activity description

Mastidoodles love everyone, including other dogs. They don't know that they are intimidating to both people and pets and they want to bound up to anyone they see and play. This makes it extra important to socialize them once they have been through obedience training. A lonely Mastidoodle is a depressed Mastidoodle, and no one wants that. 

To avoid this, take Fido to an off-leash dog park and let them make friends with the other dogs in the area. It may take a few times of regular socializing, but the smaller dogs will see that your pup is just a big bundle of love.

Step
1
Find a dog park in your area
Not every city or town has a reputable dog park. Scout out the dog parks in your area and find a place that's recommended for big dogs. That way, if you have to travel a little further for Fido's safety, you'll know ahead of time. Check to see whether water and waste bags are provided and if there are any rules or entry requirements.
Step
2
Gather your goodies
The best doggy park days are those where you can relax and make a day of it without rushing around. Pack everything you need for a picnic lunch, including water and a dish for Fido to stay hydrated and a blanket for you both to relax on. Don't forget the leash and harness. When you're all packed, load everything up and head out for your fun day!
Step
3
Let Fido play
Before you let Fido out of the car, be sure to put the leash and harness on. Most dog parks require all dogs to enter the outside of the park leashed, but even if it's not a requirement, it's a smart move to keep Fido under your control until you are in the dog park. However, dogs on leashes can feel threatened by other off-leash dogs, so take the leash off as soon as you're safely inside the dog park. Now you can let your Mastidoodle do their thing as you watch carefully for any potential conflicts. When Fido is worn out, head to the picnic areas for some refreshments and relax!
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Water Exercise

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Water treadmill
Doggy life vest
Activity description

Mastidoodles are prone to hip dysplasia and, because of this, should not be exercised using high-impact activities. If you take Fido for a walk, try to avoid concrete or other hard surfaces when possible. 

Water exercises make activities low-impact, though. You might find that your city or a neighboring one offers hydrotherapy, a form of exercise that combines your pup's regular walks and exercise with whirlpools, water treadmills, and doggy swimming pools in a controlled environment. If you don't have that option near you, though, swimming works just fine!

Step
1
Do your research
Talk to your vet about hydrotherapy options near you. There may be a place nearby that you don't know about but your vet does. If that is not an option for you, ask your vet what kind of swimming activities would be best for your Mastidoodle and their personal health issues.
Step
2
Get a doggy lifevest
Whether you are doing hydrotherapy in a controlled environment or swimming with Fido in a pool, lake, or ocean, you must have a life vest for your big pup. Swimming has an inherent risk of drowning for absolutely everyone, no matter how good a swimmer they are, and your Mastidoodle is heavy enough to weigh you down if something happens. Instead, with a life vest on Fido, you can carefully pull a dog in distress out of the water without putting yourself in danger.
Step
3
Get Fido used to the water
Most dogs take to water like it's second nature. They love to bound in and out of puddles and pools both. Sprinklers are their version of doggy heaven and bathtime is way more fun for them than for you. But that's not always the case. Before you attempt any rigorous swimming or hydrotherapy activities, be sure Fido is comfortable in water. If not, you may need to look elsewhere for low-impact exercise.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

Grab the family and run into the backyard with Fido for a rousing game of hide and seek! Designate one person as "it" and turn around while they hide. Send Fido to sniff them out and praise your pup exuberantly when the hider is found. Train Fido to hide next in a controlled environment -- but with your pup's big size, chances are you won't have trouble finding their hiding place!

Doggy Day Spa

Let's face it -- the daily grooming of Fido's fur just to avoid severe matting is difficult enough. Adding regular shampooing and nail trimming is more exercise than most people get in a week. Instead, find a doggy spa where Fido can spend the day being pampered, cleaned, trimmed, and buffed into a version of Poodle/Mastiff perfection!

Conclusion

Mastidoodles are fun and affectionate, intelligent and obedient. If your home is set up to be able to handle a large dog, this is the ultimate family pup. Your Mastidoodle has likely never met a person or animal they don't like.

Mastidoodles do require extra care, though. They need regular grooming and are prone to certain physical conditions, like hip dysplasia. Do your research before you start planning activities with your pup to be sure their bodies can handle the stress level of what you are planning. 

For owners who take care of their pup, train them in obedience, and manage their exercise well, the Mastidoodle will give nothing but love and affection in return.